Barkley sparks Elizabeth Forward girls in spot start
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Elizabeth Forward rarely has used the same starting lineup in consecutive games, so it was no surprise when head coach Sam Kosanovich gave sophomore forward Olivia Barkley a spot start against Mars.
And it paid off.
Barkley scored a game-high 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds to help Elizabeth Forward (21-2) roll to a 56-31 victory over Mars (15-7) in the opening round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs at Plum High School.
“She's a hard-nosed player, and she had a great effort,” Kosanovich said. “But depending on how things go in practice the next couple days, I might make changes again because everyone knows their role, including Olivia, and I can't tell you who the starters are going to be the next game.”
That next game will be Saturday against third-seeded Central Valley, a 59-50 winner over South Fayette, at a site and time to be determined. Wherever they play, the Warriors will be without second-leading scorer Kiana Law, who picked up two technical fouls and was ejected against the Lions. Because Law was ejected, PIAA rules dictate she must sit out the team's next game.
It also will be the first meeting between the schools since Monaca and Center merged to form Central Valley in the 2010-11 school year.
“I'll just have to look for some tapes, but we're pretty well-versed on them from some scouting reports that we have,” Kosanovich said. “But I haven't really looked at them because we've been focused on the team in front of us.”
It certainly worked against Mars. The Planets had no answer for the Elizabeth Forward press, which forced 30 turnovers and helped the Warriors take a double-digit lead in the first quarter.
“I love that pressure,” Barkley said. “I love to play in-your-face, and it really keeps people on their toes.”
Barkley did that inside throughout the game. Not only did she force several turnovers in the paint, but she was able to box out and limit Mars to one shot on most trips down the floor.
She was especially effective in the second half when she scored 12 points and helped put the game out of reach.
“It was just great because I do what I can to help the team,” Barkley said. “I just want us to be able to go as far as we can.”
It was certainly a different outcome for the Warriors than their last outing. In their final regular season game Feb. 11, they were rolled by South Park, 60-35, a decision that ended their 17-game winning streak.
“I thought we came out pretty strong because we like to simulate game action in practices, which is hard to do, and we had a couple scrimmages where we could focus on game conditioning and game thoughts,” Kosanovich said. “Because of that, we came out and we played hard.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Monessen boys capture yet another WPIAL basketball title
- Indiana boys beat Beaver Falls for 1st WPIAL basketball title
- Oliver: It takes a lot to be a Greyhound
- Monessen downs Jeannette to win WPIAL Class A championship
- Seton-La Salle girls defeat rival Bishop Canevin to capture 7th WPIAL title
- Blairsville girls claim District 6-A title
- WPIAL finalists feature skilled scorers, playmakers on perimeter
- Trib Cup: South Park girls look ahead to PIAA tournament
- Sophomore stars carry Beaver Falls to 3rd finals appearance in 4 seasons
- Late-blooming Penn Hills girls restoring WPIAL championship glory
- Late 3-pointer sends Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic girls to finals